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a personal journey through the new
nervous centre of Europe
marketing concept presentation
book sa...
#BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact:
Presentation Section - page iii of 25
#BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact:
Presentation Section - page iv of 25
#BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact:
Presentation Section - page v of 25
#BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact:
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#BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact:
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#BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact:
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#BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact:
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#BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact:
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#BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact:
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A. META...
#BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact:
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How do ...
#BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact:
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This co...
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It is a...
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I am no...
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Find pe...
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In the ...
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The pub...
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The eas...
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Also if...
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Which c...
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#BerlinDiaries: a personal journey through the new nervous centre of Europe v2.0 - marketing concept and book design presentation


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To celebrate 5 years since its publication, now #BerlinDiaries can be read and downloaded as an Acrobat file here on Slideshare

#BerlinDiaries is a social media publishing experiment to produce a print and digital book using CreateSpace/Amazon; each section of the “diaries” was posted online while visiting Berlin Nov 15th - Nov 30th 2012, with over 50 daily readers for each section.

Due to requirements to "test" some features of Amazon+Kindle, instead this version originally posted on Slideshare contains just the marketing concept presentation and a sample chapter (describing the process followed to produce the book, up to the budget- and details on the publishing process).

Other business books (links to both the free and paid versions, and additional online material if available):

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#BerlinDiaries: a personal journey through the new nervous centre of Europe v2.0 - marketing concept and book design presentation

  1. 1. #BerlinDiaries a personal journey through the new nervous centre of Europe v2.0 marketing concept presentation and book sample Aleph123
  2. 2. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Presentation Section - page iii of 25 Copyright © 2012-2013, a.k.a. aleph123 All rights reserved. ISBN:1481854259 (full book on Amazon) ISBN-13: 978-1481854252 (full book on Amazon) Available also on Kindle (free loan permitted)
  3. 3. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Presentation Section - page iv of 25 #BERLINDIARIES V2.0 A PUBLISHING EXPERIMENT #BerlinDiaries is a social media publishing experiment to produce a print and digital book using CreateSpace/Amazon; each section of the “diaries” was posted online while visiting Berlin Nov 15th - Nov 30th 2012, with over 50 daily readers for each section. The book is both a tourist guide of Berlin and a commentary on current events and cultural/social/political change in European Union, from the perspective of a consultant delivering cultural/organizational/technological change management services since 1990 (yes, right after the Berlin Wall tumbled down), including in multicultural and multinational environments. This new edition contains a chapter on what I was asked often about from the first readers in my network: describing the writing and publishing process, and its potential business uses and opportunities/risks (you find a copy of this new chapter at the end of these introductory pages). The lessons learned through this experiment are currently being used to “seed” further books, as well as in new services (contact me if interested). If you find useful the concepts and suggestions contained in this document, drop me a line on Linkedin1, Facebook2, and you are obviously welcome to add the URL of my Linkedin profile as a reference in the “credits” section in your material where you reused the concepts. #BerlinDiaries is available on Amazon, both in print and Kindle. For the sake of brevity, each concept that would require a more extensive explanation (that can be found online, e.g. on Wikipedia) is marked in blue. 1 2
  4. 4. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Presentation Section - page v of 25 #BERLINDIARIES - WHY ON AMAZON? 1/2 Disclaimer: I am not being paid by Amazon in any form or way to write this presentation, but, as a consultant, I am used to present to my customers an informal SWOT on each opportunity. I do not see Amazon as a competitor to traditional channels, e.g. with “content producers”; and “content” is not just within books and multimedia: Amazon is since long ago a kind of “Harrods Online” (a nursery-to-graveyard shop in London), more a lifestyle supplier than just a provider of objects (hence, its creation of an online ecosystem). I see Amazon as a “virtual keiretsu”- the Japanese model where one “organizational brand” covered multiple industries, but with mutual shareholdings, and where decision-making processes included the “ringisho”: from the bottom up, each organizational layer had to reach a consensus, before a decision is actually made. This has a negative side-effect (it takes time), but a significant and, from my cultural and organizational change perspective, priceless potential consequence: once a decision is approved, execution is generally more coherent than in “arm-twisting” change approaches. Applied to Amazon (less the mutual shareholdings), this implies that it can potentially activate and quickly integrate new revenue streams based on committed ancillary businesses, while incurring limited or no costs, and leveraging both on its own existing visibility and logistics, and the “co-supplier” commitment (i.e. each new business stream improves the economies of scale and expands the ecosystem). This also implies that Amazon can add new activities complementary to those that it already offers, but giving to its customers a seamless experience.
  5. 5. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Presentation Section - page vi of 25 #BERLINDIARIES - WHY ON AMAZON? 2/2 A bullet list of potential benefits: 1. Location, location, location: Amazon is an ecosystem- having a publication on Amazon makes possible to immediately connect with a vast array of related books, products, and eventually services 2. Initial startup costs can be nil: Publishing on Amazon via Createspace or Kindle Direct Publishing can be extremely cheap (it can be done by content producers with no technical skills) 3. Full IPR control: you retain the copyright of what is published 4. International visibility made easy: Amazon delivers access to market-specific websites that have already established their presence, from USA and Mexico to India and Japan 5. Simple yet comprehensive market analysis: Amazon delivers tools to monitor not only your sales, but also their distribution 6. Extreme pricing flexibility: The price threshold for articles and books is so low that it can be used also for internal purposes, while increasing your brand exposure with high-quality products 7. Campaign-enabled out of the box: The pricing flexibility by territory, platform (paper, Kindle, both), medium (you can add multimedia) allows also to tailor your distribution strategy, e.g. campaigns based on time-limited discount promotional codes 8. Quick content update cycle: Amazon basically prints “on demand”, and therefore as soon as you release a new edition, it will be available (except for potential return copies from a previous release)- and your Kindle customers will have a new version at no additional cost, if so you choose 9. Scalability in services: Amazon allows to start with self-service and “online automated wizards”, but then you can add new services, even provided by third parties or other publishers 10. Last but not least, a summary: As an author (including a corporate author), you can start with Amazon as an independent while retaining your copyright, and still keep using their platform when you start using professional services (including from Amazon), or even when you “graduate” to traditional publishers able to cover a full range of professional pre-press and marketing services, including co-marketing, events, etc: the customer will anyway find all your publications within the same ecosystem.
  6. 6. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Presentation Section - page vii of 25
  7. 7. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Presentation Section - page viii of 25 “One way of getting at how people thought about their world and what they thought made things tick, is to look at what socio-linguists call personal and collective narrative. Narrative in this sense is seen as a crucial element in the construction of social realities – perceived relationships and structures – within which humans socially reproduce themselves. Narrative, indeed, can be said to provide the link between consciousness and practice... ...Narratives are fictions because they are reconstructions of experience, they organize experience and memory temporally through language and in the process elaborate a relationship between the narrator and the events narrated. Thus narratives work essentially as a means of identifying the individual self within a social and cultural context, of providing a reality – they answer the question ‘who am I?’. As such, they also act as patterns for social action – future planning based on past experience.”3 What did I learn from my travels for political activities around Europe as a teenager? Your travels abroad can help you understand more about yourself and your country than any inward-looking consideration. As Goethe said about languages: "Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiss nichts von seiner eigenen”. Empathise, see yourself and your culture through another culture, and you will be a better and more conscious citizen. Whatever I saw in Berlin was a catalyst to comment on current events and think about the future. But assuming that you are not necessarily an online reader who went on a daily basis through my #BerlinDiaries posts, I augmented the material by adding explanatory notes, links, and expanding existing thoughts. I hope that you will enjoy the next few pages as much as those who followed their unfolding online over two weeks, from November 14th to November 30th (with a “coda” in early December) 2012. And, of course, at least as much as I enjoyed writing and rewriting them! 3 John Haldon, in “A social History of Byzantium”, pages 9-10, 2009 Blackwell
  8. 8. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Presentation Section - page ix of 25 PROLOGUE TO V2.0 Probably, both you and I are tired of all the “2.0” announces around. In this case, it makes sense, as this new edition converts an online and offline publication experiment into something with a longer-term perspective, a kind of “living book”. The idea is simple: #BerlinDiaries was written in December 2012, while Version 2.0 adds more material on how the book was written, what was added online, and basic elements of applied online marketing. When you start publishing online (in my case, in late 1990s as online posts, then 2003-2005 with an e-zine on knowledge management and virtual companies, and finally from 2007 by simply blogging on social networks and on Wordpress), you should have already identified a “format” and a basic theme that will guide you in selecting how to choose what is relevant. Even more important is to decide, within your “format”, what makes sense to add from other sources, also to reduce your workload, and ensure a continuous stream of updates (yes, you need a publication plan). This is an experiment, and #BerlinDiaries, beside trying to be funny enough to be read, tries to inspire you in creating your own “living books”. About prices: Amazon Createspace allow you to choose your own price; in my case, I set a price that is unusually low, but not the lowest. If you succeed in completing your own “publishing cycle”, send me a link (and I would appreciate if you were kind enough to post a link to both my Amazon book and the Facebook page4), and I promise that I will enclose references in future editions (online and offline). 4 Facebook page: Twitter: @BerlinDiaries
  9. 9. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Presentation Section - page x of 25 PROLOGUE Why this book? Because over 50 people read each segment that I posted online when I started my travel to Berlin in November 2012- each day, and I decided to keep doing so while I still had at least 50 readers for each post. Well, I am still posting on a daily basis. Why not use my #BerlinDiaries to both send a “thank you note” to my known readers on (and the unknown ones on Facebook)5, and add a further experiment to my CV? I believe (and I am not the only one, as I saw in my research between 2007 and 2009; for an update on the distribution of social networks, look at the free e-book “Twitter for Diplomats”6) that online publishing will change not only how books are distributed- but also how they will be read and, eventually, written: the digital medium adds a layer of flexibility that has been unknown of since Gutenberg spread book printing technology. Therefore, this is not a traditional guidebook, but a personal journey to explore the heart and mind of the new centre of Europe, more a “philosophical journey” than the usual visit: a journey whose first phase lasted over two weeks. Why now, and why Berlin? Get through the next few pages, and you will find answers to both questions. Nonetheless, you are welcome to join me online to add comments, requests- and maybe contribute with your own writings, online and offline, to the next step, as I look forward to do a second, more institutional and structured step. 5 and 6
  10. 10. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Presentation Section - page xi of 25 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS & RATIONALE This book is an extensively edited and augmented reprint of what I started posting online on November 14th, 2012, the day that my “city test” in Berlin started: it would not have been written at all, weren’t for the daily motivation generated by my online visitors. My Berlin travel itinerary evolved through the daily interaction with Berlin- but originally my plan was just to keep a travelogue and take few pictures. I had previous experiences in keeping a (business) diary: it comes with the territory, when you are used to work on multiple activities at the same time, often in various locations, including by managing remotely, and hence delegating tasks to, people. And, again, without that experience in keeping track of multiple timelines, subjects, and people, I would have never been able to write as fast as I did. Storytelling has been part and parcel of my consulting and teaching experiences for over a quarter of a century (early 1980s)- a short story, few gestures, and some self-effacing humour go great lengths toward “fixing” in the mind of your audience what you are trying to convey... faster and for much longer than tens of Powerpoint slides. How do I use maps and guidebooks? First, I have a quick preview, cover- to-cover, and then... I leave them in my room, while having a first tour around; I follow up with a segment-by-segment reading before going around, and a final review after visiting something. Why? Because I want to have a “foundation layer” of knowledge- but I do not want minutiae to act as a filter between the cultural reality on the ground and my personal experience, a “knowledge cage” prepared by others. I hope to visit again Berlin, and, with your help and feed-back, the online components will keep this book alive, and, hopefully, kickstart a dialogue on the future of Europe, between ordinary European Union citizens and internal and external observers and partners.
  11. 11. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Presentation Section - page xii of 25 CONTENTS OF #BERLINDIARIES V2.0 1 Introduction La memoria di un criceto / Rome wasn't built in a day 1 2 Getting around Berlin Berlin InfoPack / Walk the talk (and few thousands steps more) 15 3 A day in town Testing and common wisdom / A quiet day that wasn't 26 4 Past and future wars A day in the past / Turkey and NATO, or: pre-empting a proxy war 35 5 Games & thoughts Games and gaming / Sometimes... 43 6 Serendipitous walking A walk in town / Museums, games, parks and... bicycles in Berlin 54 7 A changing town Annexed townships and museum surprises / The gentrification of East Berlin & packing 67 8 Closing down Memory, language and... apologies in Berlin Three monkeys and a drawing boss #Berlin 78 9 The aftermath Meanwhile... / Globalization in a cup of tea 87 A Meta-appendix 2.0 Creating an online and offline posting format Evolving your content for your audience The publishing process Keeping it alive 93 Afterword and planning: why Berlin 106
  12. 12. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Sample Chapter - page 13 of 25 A. META-APPENDIX 2.0 Creating an online and offline posting format I am not an expert talking from a soapbox, just a consultant who is used to "walk the talk"- i.e. I used to do research projects to develop and apply new concepts, leaning on somebody else’s expertise if and when needed. Sometimes this brought about the application of knowledge from other domains, as when I developed or designed multimedia used to ensure that training was delivered everywhere and each time exactly in the same way- no matter who was delivering the training. Anyway, everything was always done assuming that, from that moment on, whatever was left behind should be self-sustaining, i.e. with no further access to consultants or experts for routine activities (including updating the material), while maybe some access to those resources would be needed to develop new material. You can find online plenty of material on how to create a “format”, but in this context it all boils down to one simple rule: whatever you do, first comes a definition of your initial aims, then the means. But you first need to have active knowledge of the potential means that you could use to achieve your aims.
  13. 13. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Sample Chapter - page 14 of 25 How do you choose? I posted online few articles on how to integrate new media within your advocacy or political marketing activities7. Few articles will keep being added to that series, and once in a while I will structure everything into book form, using a format that should enable to focus on concepts, as the specifics of technologies, what is “trendy”, the “must use”, etc. change across the time. So, let's assume that you decided your "why" and "how" (you can find plenty of material online and books or e-books on the “technicalities”). Another issue that I always stressed with companies and startups is "when", as way too many online and offline publishing initiatives start, follow an initial motivation, and then lose steam- obviously after sharing grandiose publishing plans with the potential audience. #BerlinDiaries was and is an experiment, and therefore its aim was to test various elements that could be added within the mix, to assess how resources should be allocated between the different options. Therefore, it is an example of the structure, process, results- but if I were to do something similar for others, it will include an additional, “operational” level, i.e. a #BerlinDiaries-style publication, and probably will include setting up and coaching a team to deliver additional “services” (e.g. a website, organizing meetings, maybe a club, other relevant ways and means, including specific fund-raising activities and ways to build “revenue streams”, i.e. sources of income to finance the operation, if needed). No matter how good is your format, you must identify, along with your "format" and "mix" of channels, also how you will add further collaborators while ensuring that the format is not distorted. Eventually, it might be that you will see worthwhile to embed your publication into other activities (as I did between 2003 and 2005 with my online e-zine on knowledge management and “virtual companies”, i.e. organizational development for the XXI century). 7
  14. 14. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Sample Chapter - page 15 of 25 This could be true also if you write and publish just for fun- or even if you do not write at all, and just want a series of guidelines to develop “organically”, from within, your activities (as also a non-profit book club can be killed by its own fast-breeding success that generates an uncontrolled growth). For this “scaling up” of your activities, while also ensuring that you hold your line, I usually suggest one short, old, but still useful book, from Gene Roddenberry8 (other books on Internet, marketing, communication, economics 2.0? search my online catalogue9). However you decide to manage your format once designed, remember that not necessarily following a format is a satisfactory creative endeavour for those aiming to become experts in communication (many “volunteers” are actually focused on positioning themselves, not supporting a cause or initiative- and lose easily steam once they move from doing something, to doing it day after day). Evolving your content for your audience The approach that I followed with #BerlinDiaries was to consider what could be “static” (e.g. my diary, unless I were to visit again Berlin), and leave that within online blog posts and the resulting book, while leaving outside (for the online element) what should be routinely updated. Of course, this is just an example: and therefore it is more the concept and its initial applications that matter, than how they evolved so far. So, I would like first and foremost to share with you the basic concepts beyond the “format” that I designed and its online components, to focus not on the results, but on the preparation activities required to produce those results. Consistency does not imply repetition. 8 S. E. Whitfield and G. Roddenberry “The Making of Star Trek”, 1968 9
  15. 15. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Sample Chapter - page 16 of 25 It is advisable to identify a common thread, as that would define your boundaries, or at least make your readers willing to return: this is both part of the format and of its continuous and consistent use. Actually, in some cases, you might even consider doing a “series”, having exactly the same plotline in each chapter, and simply repeating it from different perspectives, or different unfolding of the side-effects of choices in each chapter: but in this case too, repetition will not be “boring”. Examples: watch an old movie, “Run Lola Run”, any of the copycats from Hollywood or, if you are inclined to something funnier, “Groundhog day”. Some writers say that you write for yourself, others that you write for your readers: consider that, if you publish, probably your aim is to share what you want to share, and therefore you have to attract at least some readers. In some cases, e.g. political advocacy or business marketing, just a few are enough, if you provide them something that they will be willing to talk about- so, the number of “readers” doesn’t matter as much as the networks those readers belong to (the “circle” concept on Google+). Of course, there will be a number of writers who simply write because they assume that humankind and our world need their writings- but none of my writings (or past consulting activities) sharing ideas is considering them as members of a potential audience. Why? Of course, they have nothing to learn from anybody, and plenty to teach to their followers (as their appeal to them is based on irrational foundations, not on rational choices). Nonetheless, once famous, you might well be able to write each morning whatever you feel compelled to write- and have a loyal following of readers simply buy whatever your write (yes, a Frank Zappa attitude). A mistake that I saw often in business and non-profit uses of the integration between online and offline elements (books, but also events, meetings, etc.) is to start with what you have, and then assume that you will find a way, ending up rehashing what you already had, and ending up picking from others or from newspapers whatever you can to keep publishing.
  16. 16. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Sample Chapter - page 17 of 25 I am not questioning “how” or “what”: that is part of your own creative process, and what you believe that should be published. The point is: unless you have a framework of reference for what you write, it will soon sound “fake”. Every writer, fiction or non-fiction, has a “signature”- and with few notable exceptions, the way to get out of that “signature cage” is to join forces with others. A couple of examples writing for contemporary audiences: Arthur Clarke and Tom Clancy did this often, in their own respective realms. Others instead rely on ghostwriters when they lose steam and their books get boringly repetitive- but the smartest one do so when they have loyal followers who would buy anything with their name on the cover. Few others, well, both in fiction and business, keep writing when they should have stopped. Moreover, there are more people around better qualified than I am on the theory and practice of creativity and writing, as I am just a learning/communication practitioner in business (notably on organizational/cultural change and the introduction or “embedding” of new technologies or business processes within an existing organization). Sometimes, I am asked to provide ideas and then develop them, while sometimes I am just asked to make ideas useful and/or attractive, do some number crunching or negotiations, or coordinate people, but I do not think that I have any “universal silver bullet”. Each time, I have first to understand who or what I am dealing with, and then choose the appropriate “tools” (avoiding that typical consultants’ mistake- they have a hammer, and therefore each problem looks as a nail). When your format is ready (or you derived a format from what you just wrote, as you would do in defining a sequel for what originally had none foreseen), a different approach is required, something that maybe you would like to leave to somebody else, a “Devil’s Advocate”.
  17. 17. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Sample Chapter - page 18 of 25 Find people that you trust, and use them as human “guinea pigs”, i.e. having them act as your “audience member number zero”, and listen to their reactions; obviously, it is critical to choose somebody who will talk straight. Moreover, choose a second “Devil’s Advocate” focusing on the sustainability of what you plan to do to keep your publication “alive”. Sometimes, you might need a team of writers before than you expected, and this might be unaffordable. Keeping alive a book implies converting a “product” into a “service”. As you read in the first pages of this book, #BerlinDiaries was born almost by accident, after a couple of blog posts attracted more readers than I expected, and therefore I said “why not?”, as I was in the process of checking which parts of my business experience could become my new job. The format for #BerlinDiaries (online and offline) was actually something that I had to work on while posting my daily “diary on a blog”, as initially I did not expect to convert that into a book. Anyway, the “diary on a blog” format contained few elements:  A common thread- an (almost) accidental tourist discovering Berlin, exploring its physical and cultural dimensions  A “series guideline”- each post had to contain a mix of what I was observing, as if it were a “walking guide” through Berlin, but with connections with current events, and some additional bits and pieces from my previous business and political experiences  A round-robin approach, as each post, while being independent, should link with previous ones, while usually closing with an announce of what was about to happen (yes, obviously this derives from TV formats)  A hyperlink technique- borrowing from Popper etc., opening doors to other knowledge domains, but sharing links (i.e. leaving those doors open) to articles, Wikipedia, movies, and other material, to promote curiosity and serendipity in those bothering to read  A minimal self-linking- also when tempting or useful, limit the number of links to previously published articles and blog posts, to avoid a too explicit self-referential inclination.
  18. 18. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Sample Chapter - page 19 of 25 In the end, the last two points were critical in converting a simple book into an experiment integrating online and offline elements. The idea was to “help others to help themselves” to knowledge, by challenging a little bit the reader, and then providing “escape pods”- disguised as hyperlinks to a variety of media. While completing the “static part”, I had two choices: convert each post into a section of the book, verbatim, or “expand”. In my case, I assumed that it would be better to add some value, and to expand and clarify concepts that I only drafted in my blog. Therefore, this became a second layer within the format: a process that started with online articles, expanded into a book clearly linked to what was available (for free) online, and then was kept alive not by updating the posts, but by creating an online presence (in this example, a Facebook page10 and a Twitter account11, updated until end of May as a “proof of concept”). I have been my own “Devil’s Advocate”, as I wanted to test on myself processes and material that I plan to eventually use elsewhere. It is the old saying: “what you listen, you forget; what you see, you remember; what you do, you know”. A last bit of information: in my case, the content for the online side of #BerlinDiaries was disclosed mainly… while I was deciding what should go inside the “blurb” on the back-cover of the book. So, what is Berlin? The capital of a leading European Union member- basically, the new potential centre of (power) gravity within the EU. Hence, the subject was picking itself: news and ideas on what could happen in and to Europe, as it is continuously extending toward the Urals and the Balkans; last time that this happened? WWII… 10 11
  19. 19. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Sample Chapter - page 20 of 25 The publishing process This section is focused only on the Amazon/Createspace process. The first suggestion: I have been registered with Createspace for years before I even considered using it to publish a book- but it provides interesting material that could help guide you on choosing your own path toward the publication of a book, e-book, CD, DVD, or any combination thereof. What is Amazon? A way to convert into reality both Anderson’s “Long Tail”12 and Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”13, as you can have zero production costs (except your own time), and infinite print runs and shelf life, at zero “storage costs”. You can make your own rules, or simply write your book with whatever tool you like, and then copy-and-paste it into the Microsoft Word templates supplied by Createspace. One caveat: the easiest way is to follow the step-by-step instructions first through the help system, then complete the preparation of your book, and finally follow the step-by-step instructions (the so-called “wizards”). There will be few checks that you will required to do (e.g. downloading the proof and checking it, and so on)- do every test that you are asked to do, you will save time later. As for choices: I choose the 6x9in format, white paper, and a price that was high enough to generate a profit, but still low enough to enable “impulse shopping” and… buying copies to give as promotional material. That’s it- no point in adding further details and replicate what you can read online; you can also buy additional services (proofreading, cover design, etc.)- or integrate other people in your process (e.g. by “bartering” services). Keeping it alive 12 13
  20. 20. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Sample Chapter - page 21 of 25 The easiest way to “keep alive” your book is to publish only on Kindle, and then update your book (if you change the title or other reference information, it becomes a new publication). You can also join the Kindle Select, which requires that you publish exclusively through Amazon the e-book version of your book for a certain number of days. In exchange, the Kindle version of your book will be available for free on loan to Amazon Prime customers, and you will get a share of what has been set aside by Amazon for the program (in some countries, you also get a bigger share of your Kindle price if the customer then decides to buy your book). Caveat: as reported by newspapers in the past, your “Kindle choices” could affect your existing readers, as if you removed a book from Kindle in the past buyers saw the books that they had bought removed from their “Kindle Library”- not really the word-of-mouth that you want to be spread. Anyway: if you decide to add the Kindle version of your book- better to spend some time to create a file specifically for Kindle, as the automatic formatting doesn’t necessarily generate a file that contains all the you would expect in a Kindle book, or any e-book (e.g. a “live” table of contents). Have a look at the articles that I referred to within the introductory section of this chapter14, but you can also find plenty of material online. I will not suggest specific titles on the mechanics (i.e. which tool or tools to use and how) or marketing, as things change too fast; nonetheless, you can have a look at a free recent book15, to get an overview updated in 2013, theoretically focused on Twitter, but with a short and decent summary of the current demographics of the Internet. 14 15
  21. 21. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Sample Chapter - page 22 of 25 Also if you have a team of marketing experts, getting some ideas could be useful to avoid wasting resources- and maybe inspire you on which content makes sense to add online, and how often this should be done. #BerlinDiaries is obviously an experiment that does not aim to go beyond the publishing and “keep alive as a test” point. In other cases in the past, the online “live” component was actually linked to an internal set of guidelines (a kind of “what we stand for”), which was part of the overall business and marketing planning activities. Which minimal components were considered?  Long-term objectives, that defined where the company was heading to (with startups, I usually asked the leading founder to come back to me with a kind of 1-page speech that he would deliver 5 years after the company had been started, before I would accept to support them)  Business evolution model, to give guidelines on the general “do and don’t”- a kind of corporate version of the “Ten Commandments”, i.e. nothing really operational, but certainly a series of basic tests of what is acceptable and what isn’t  Internal book, to have a “reference framework” shared between all those involved- a lesson I learned from my first employer, where two of those books were available, a “Personnel Reference Binder”, and an “Ethical Standards”; I was supposed to know and follow the first, I actually followed both- also if I refused, in Italy, to sign a contract in English, as I wasn’t supposed to know English; others signed and did not care at all about following the guidelines, something that you cannot afford in your communication activities  Communication strategy, to identify the mix of channels to be used, and guidelines covering the communication activities  Channel guidelines, e.g. for the website, online social networks, grass roots development, event management, funding approach, etc  Recruitment approach, defining not the skills, but the attitude that new members of the organization would be needed to have (e.g. to avoid damaging the previous elements by adding somebody who will try to bring along her/his own idea of how the company should be run).
  22. 22. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Sample Chapter - page 23 of 25 Which channels should you select? That really depended on your specific business needs- and the resources at your disposal. In some cases, the channels required are just the usual mix of Twitter/Facebook/G+/YouTube, while in others the mix could be significantly more complex (e.g. a website, mailing list, online communities divided between staff members, “local antennas”/funclub leaders, and audience, including various levels of “premium membership circles”), coupled with “real-world presence”, or even simple (e.g. just a Linkedin profile and 1-page website). With #BerlinDiaries, the “testing” aim obviously guided in choosing the channels and the content to be posted on each one of them:  Facebook page16, where first a few article links and comments, then a weekly (well, more about this later) digest listed the “keywords” of the news selected for the week  Twitter account17, only for news concerning Europe (from the Atlantic to the Urals, and from the Arctic Circle to the Bosphorus- i.e. not just the EU, but also Russia and Turkey)  An assortment of other channels, not relevant to discuss here. A typical evolution would be to keep a schedule, i.e. having something that is posted regularly enough to make sense to visit once in a while the page, while adding something more to keep the page fresh and relevant. Then, to add a community element, both online and offline, e.g. by creating a “meetup”18, and eventually spawning new ones, one in each region, so that they can organize local events and feed material to be added on the online components. 16 17, re-tweeting @aleph123, where I post English summaries and links to articles from newspapers around the world (in half a dozen of languages) 18
  23. 23. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Sample Chapter - page 24 of 25 Out of both online and offline activities could then derive further books- a pattern that has been followed by others. Obviously: it depends on what you aim to do- for #BerlinDiaries, or any other kind of “advocacy” activity, it makes sense. If you are publishing fiction, maybe you could just focus on a discussion group, and discussing what you are writing now, or what you plan to write, what you already published, etc. I promised that I would have written what happened with #BerlinDiaries. Well, the content for #BerlinDiaries was to be informative- and therefore I started posting short titles (Twitter-style, i.e. really short, but with #hashtags) of news items from newspapers around the world. Aim? Be informative, but instead of sharing commentary, share the news, and if and where relevant add essays etc. Value for those bothering to visit once in a while? A short summary in English of articles originally in half a dozen languages, focused on Europe and its institutional evolution. Eventually, it became a weekly summary, listing the keywords represented by the articles, with links posted on Twitter. Anyway: #BerlinDiaries has been useful both to test publishing activities and to define “how” it could be done, while identifying potential pitfalls and dozens of useful (and some not-so-useful) minutiae. The update of the online channels used for #BerlinDiaries was halted in late May 2013, but will probably resume on a more regular schedule later this year.
  24. 24. #BerlinDiaries v2.0 – Marketing – contact: Sample Chapter - page 25 of 25 Obviously, you will need to add what wasn’t relevant to my own publishing experiment, i.e. a marketing element to increase the sales and readerships- refer to the articles and books that I listed in the footnotes across the book to get inspiration and find further articles and books19. Next step? Use the experience of #BerlinDiaries to prepare and publish something else- and maybe adding further ideas to share. Let’s summarize some “operational budgeting” information, that maybe will be useful for your own activities (I will focus only on the book, not the online components):  Original material length: approximately 50 pages  Drafing the material: between 30 minutes and 2 hours each day, for three weeks (the initial online posting)  Defining the format for the book and selecting the reference materials from Createspace and other website: 2 days, part-time  Writing the complete book: 2 weeks, part-time, bringing to 100 pages the book.  Getting through the publishing process: 4 days, part-time  Updating the book for this edition: 2 days, part-time  Expanding the book and revising it: 4 days, part-time, restructuring some sections, and adding a dozen pages  Final review and format fixing: 2 days, part-time. 19 A book worth reading also if partially obsolete is Kotler, “High Visibility”, focused on building your own personal brand but with cross-references to other areas of marketing and communication